Burbank Unified's dropout rate declines

The drop out rate for Burbank Unified continues to fall, with the district faring better than the state average for the 2012 academic year, according to the most recent data.

Of the 1,410 students who started high school in 2008 on the path to graduate in 2012, 4% dropped out, according to the California Department of Education.

The statistics mark the third time that the state collected data for an entire class over a four year period, starting when the students enter high school.

It is also the third consecutive time that the district has seen a decline in dropout rates, which were 6% and 4.3% for the classes of 2010 and 2011, respectively.

Burbank Unified also came in far below the state dropout average, which was 13.2% for the class of 2012.

Emilio Urioste, director of secondary education, attributed the fewer dropouts to counselors who initiate conversations in an attempt to intervene with struggling students and their parents to lay out a path to graduate.

Urioste said the district has focused on reducing its dropout rate over the past several years, and made it easier for students to recover needed credits by offering classes before and after the main school day.

"[A] Burbank high schools' diploma is a sought after document," Urioste said. "That's what the parents are telling us. They really value that, and they want that."

Among the 575 low-income students who were eligible for free or reduced price lunches in the class of 2012, or whose parents did not have high school diplomas, 6.3% dropped out, compared to 5.4% for the classes of 2011 and 2010.

Burroughs High saw a lower rate than Burbank High, with 1.7% of that class who dropped out in the class of 2012 compared to 4.7% at Burbank.

Among English language learners, the dropout rates continue to stay below the district's 13.8% rate reported in 2010.

Urioste said that subgroup is carefully monitored.

"Even though they're not a large number for our district, we take the needs of [English language learners] very seriously," he said.

Of about 100 English learners in the class of 2012, 10.1% dropped out.


Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.


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